Laughing

Leave a comment

October 2, 2017 by The Citron Review

By Allison Kade

 

When we were younger, we were bullied. Now, as an adult, we talk about our experience all the time. A glib chuckle: We were chubby and awkward, raised our hand too often in class, never shut up. Laughing about it now shows that we are over it.

In second grade they started a club with one membership requirement: anyone but us. Their club had a secret language—anyone but us—but they were stupid. We learned their language, and they hated us more.

We played Monopoly at a girl’s house because her mother forced her. We didn’t know we were a chore, and our unknowing made her laugh.

Another girl sent us an email with the F-word and we were awed by the bravery of her language. We presented it to our parents, who showed the principal. This did not make any of them like us.

At sleepaway camp, they dropped daddy-long-legs in an envelope addressed to us and licked it closed. We have never liked spiders. The problem was us, not them.

We lost weight in high school. We went to public school in order to leave those kids behind. Puberty wasn’t great, but we found more people like us. We dated a tall, popular boy.

Our college friends never met those kids from our childhood. We stayed up late talking about the Iliad and the Aeneid, and we disagreed about whether we preferred Achilles or Aeneas, but we loved each other and they weren’t there. We left them behind.

We are excellent at office politics. Our experience taught us to identify the queen, to make self-deprecating jokes to win people. They taught us never to trust our coworkers because they will backstab us. Lucy was usurped while she was on maternity leave. That will not happen to us. Thank you.

Senior year of high school, we traveled to Poland with kids from our synagogue, from elementary school. We hadn’t seen them in years, but we were different now, we had friends, we had a tall boyfriend. We were ready to laugh about the past, but, strolling under the boxed guard towers of Majdanek, they asked about our SAT scores. They said we must still be nerds. Our tall boyfriend wasn’t on this trip.

When we were nine, we were driving home from Costco with our mother when she asked if we were having a happy childhood. She suffered tremendously, we knew, because of the powerlessness. She is not a powerless person. She is a doctor. But she couldn’t diagnose our condition, so she couldn’t heal it. We told her yes, we would look back on our childhood with fondness.

We wonder what will happen if we raise our own children into chubby awkwardness.

So we roll our eyes and concede that we were annoying. That we talked too much. That there really was a lot to taunt. Laughing shows that we are over it.

 

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Massachusetts Review, Allison’s short fiction has also been published by Joyland, Annalemma, Fractured West, Underground Voices, Full of Crow, The Huffington Post and 322 Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Bloomberg, GOOD Magazine, Real Simple, Travel + Leisure, Forbes, xoJane and many more. She currently lives in Jersey City, where she’s working on a novel.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
67 days to go.

🍋 Instagram

We love inventive flash fiction at The Citron Review. Today's highlight is "Knitting." https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/knitting/ Carla Scarano D'Antonio obtained her Degree of Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. She self-published a poetry pamphlet, A Winding Road, and is working on a PhD on Margaret Atwood at University of Reading. She also contributes as a reviewer for The Blue Nib, London Grip, Write Out Loud, South and The /temz/ Review. #amreading #thecitronreview #summerissue #knittingstories #flashfiction
Our Creative Nonfiction Editor and playwright, Nathan Robert Elliott will have an actors' reading of his new play in Montréal at the Bibliothèque publique de Westmount Public Library on July 27 at 1:30pm.
We have some happy news to share! The Citron Review contributor Amye Archer has joined our Creative Nonfiction editorial team. Let's welcome her! Amye Archer - Author of Fat Girl, Skinny: A Memoir, and is the co-editor of If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2019). She holds an MFA from Wilkes University. Amye's work has been published in Scary Mommy, Longreads, Feminine Collective, Brevity, Marie Claire, and more. Amye is mom to twin daughters and wife to Tim. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania. Follow her at @amyearcher https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/one-week/ #briefliterature #cheerstotenyears #amreading #TheCitronReview #creativenonfiction
We're pleased to highlight creative nonfiction from Julie Watson. "Odds Are" is now available in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/odds-are/ #amreading #flashcnf #summerissue #cheersto10years
Anita Goveas, @raspberrybakewell, has fiction featured in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/coverings/ #amreading #flashfiction #summerissue #cheersto10years
New Flash Fiction from Mary Grimm, who has published a novel, Left to Themselves and a collection of stories, Stealing Time (which are both on Random House). She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University. https://citronreview.com/…/…/21/the-dream-of-her-long-dying/ #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #Summer2019 #flashfiction #cheersto10years

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: